30 Camping tips and hacks using essentials you can find at home

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Take advantage of these camping tips and hacks that are a beginner’s guide on using essentials you can find at home to make family camping easy on budget. Find free printable checklist, recyclable projects, food ideas, safety tips, camping games, and dollar store ideas. Have you ever planned to go for a summer camping trip with your family and friends? Does the thought overwhelm you? Me too! Therefore, I decided to bring to you these amazing tips and hacks I found super useful when I was clueless about where to start!

If you are a camper and love to camp and outdoor adventures excite you, you are bound to love these genius ideas. These camping tips and hacks are the best ideas you can incorporate in your trip without spending a lot. However, there are many great outdoor experience camping gears that are perfect and one must buy. Therefore, by saving bucks on simple and smaller essentials the trip becomes for resourceful.

Camping tips and hacks

Camping tips and hacks at craftionary.net

Camping essentials for first timers

The following is the list of camping essential gears and ordinary items that you can use to replace them:

  • Bags of ice or frozen water bottles.
  • Camping lantern or water jug with headlamp.
  • Sleeping pad or air mattress.
  • Camp kitchen or shoe organizer.
  • Fire starter or homemade fire starter with egg cartons.
  • Toilet paper container or empty coffee can.

camping hacks for families

Expensive items that you don’t need and can replace with ordinary gears.

Camping Hacks For Families


camping tips and hacks

Seven handy camping tips using things at home.


1. Use a DIY flotation device or cork to hold keys. You will never lose your keys in the river again!


2. Create a pack of dip/peanut butter and veggies in container for on -the-go.


3. Roll duct tape on the lighter instead of carrying a huge roll of it to camping.


4. Fill your nalgene with boiling water and throw in your sleeping bag for the ultimate cuddle buddy.


5. Use tic tac containers to carry spices.


6. Freeze up pancake batter in zip lock bags for the best breakfast ever.


7. Take a vegetable peeler and a bar of soap and you’ve eliminate the good old messy soap dilemma.


Hacking tips infographic (source unavailable).

useful camping hacks ideas

Use fruits instead of marshmallows for kids for easy and mess free fun. Using air bags instead of mattress is easy to prepare, use and take back after camping.

Plus a few more great tips from kids activities blog.

Really Useful Camping Tricks and Hacks for Families


camping tents floor with foam

Tent Camping with Foam Floor Tiles.

Use foam floor tiles in the tent to make for space need and useable comfortable setting. Foam Floor tiles are also handy to use as base for sleeping on the floor. It also reduces the cold from the ground to reach you for a comfortable sleep. Great to use with sleeping bags as well.


Gear line summer camping essentials

This gear line will organize all your essentials in one place. You can find these at dollar store.



Make your own tent using these great DIY tent ideas. Lots of creative ideas to excite the kids.

DIY tent ideas

Camping Hacks from experienced campers

use pvc pipe for packing knife for camping

Carrying knives for camping is challenging. Use PVC pipe and caps to make knife holder. Glue the cap on one end and keep one end open. Mark the open end using marker so you know where it opens. Another great idea is to keep Swiss knife handy while traveling and camping.

Camping hacks and tips you wish you knew earlier


Camping Hacks and Information

poison oak plant camping hack

Beware of these dangerous wild plants and learn more about them.

How To Avoid Poison oak Plant While Camping



Water resistant matchsticks box from baby food container.

Save Matchbox from water While Camping


camping hacks and tricks

DIY Single Use Antibiotics Packs for Camping.

Use straws to make single pack antibiotic shots. Keep them in an opaque container like first aid box to prevent from sunlight.


individual coffee bags for travel

 Individual Coffee Bags For Camping.

Use individual coffee filter bags to make single serve coffee or tea pouches for camping.

stakes DIY for night

 DIY Garden Stakes at Night using candles and sticks.

food for camping

Pancake mix, hamburgers, fries, tortillas, buns, steaks, eggs, pasta, peanut butter, marshmallow, milk, fruit, juice, cheese are a must have for camping.

Top Ten Foods For Family Camping


fire starter for camping

Recycle egg cartons to start a fire.

Fire Starters for Camping


save small items for camping

 Reuse Prescription Bottles for saving small items for camping.

Keep tent clean and comfortable for sleep

how to clean camping tent

 How To Clean Tent

Keeping the tent clean and bug free requires some careful movement in and out of the tent. Once your tent is up, try to keep it zipped up. Minimize entrance and exits to priorities only. Keep a hand broom and dustpan handy for quick wipe out. A hand held vacuum is also effective if you are a neat freak. Use a bug spray to kill any bugs that entered the tent at least 2 hours before you sleep. Make sure you keep the vents open so that the chemical doesn’t stay in!


pool noodle safety trick camping

Use pool noodles at the base of your tent strings to make them visible. This will avoid tripping over and keep you safe.


light for camping

A gallon a water with a headlamp pointing into the water makes a good night lamp for outdoor adventures.

Make Reading Lamp for night Camping

Camping food tips and tricks

campfire food recipe

Make fruit smores in foil over the grill.

Campfire food : Fruit & Smores Cones


pancakes while camping

Use bags to fill pancake batter and add a nozzle for easy dispensing.

Easy Pancake Mix Batter Dispenser

pie iron camp food

Line a pie iron with foil and use it to grill your sandwiches and cook other camp foods. Genius yet so simple idea!

Use pie iron for camp food


Camping organization

camping organizer

Use this door hanging organizer for organizing all the supplies for camping in one place.

Brilliant Camp Kitchen Organizer

organized camping shoe hanger

Use shoe hanger to organize kitchen in the camp.

How to setup camp kitchen

Build a rocket stove for camping

Build a rocket stove using tin cans for camping.

DIY camping portable stove


Homemade bug bite relief

DIY anti-itch sticks are perfect for treating the discomfort of pesky bug bites. And are easy to use for adults and kids alike.

Homemade bug bite relief


Tic tac toe containers

Tic tac spice containers take less space in packing and are perfect for on the move.

Plus find more Spice storage solutions at craftionary

Free printables for camp

Sumeer camping printables

Games and activities you can print for kids to keep them entertained in slow hours.

Summer camping printables


Nature scavenger hunt printable

Nature scavenger hunt printable checklist


Camping photo ooth props

Camping printable photobooth props


Outdoor scavenger hunt printable

Outdoor scavenger hunt printable

Summer Camping packing essentials list

Both these lists are very useful so I am sharing them for you to choose which one better suits you.

Best camping pack list printable

Camping pack list:


  • Shirts
  • Shorts
  • Pants
  • Pajamas
  • Thermals
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Rain Jacket (windbreaker)
  • Running shoes
  • Hiking shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Flip flops/ sandals
  • Swim suit
  • Sun Hat
  • Gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Bar of soap
  • Deodorant
  • SPF Lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet Paper
  • Razors/ shave cream
  • Shampoo/ conditioner
  • Prescriptions/ medications
  • First aid kit
  • Nail cutter
  • Thread and needle
  • Wet wipes/ antibacterial wipes



  • Tent
  • Sleeping bags
  • Compact sleeping pads
  • Pillows
  • Lanterns and fuel
  • Flashlights
  • Camping chairs/ folding chairs
  • Backpack
  • Bug spray
  • Citronella candle
  • Quilt/ picnic blanket
  • Towels
  • Swim towels
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Extra camera batteries
  • Extra memory cards
  • Matches/ lighter
  • Newspaper for fire
  • Clock/ watch
  • Hand broom/ dust pan
  • Phone charger
  • Portable charger
  • Rope
  • Clothes pins
  • Books/ magazines
  • Playing cards
  • Board games
  • Guidebooks/ trail maps
  • Fishing poles
  • Compass
  • Radio
  • Frisbee
  • Binoculars
  • Any required licenses and permits



  • Cooktop
  • Propane
  • Cast iron dutch oven
  • Cast iron griddle pan
  • Small cookware set and stove
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Spatula
  • Tongs
  • Serving spoon
  • Coliander
  • Dish soap
  • Paper towel
  • Water
  • Cooler
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Water purification tablets
  • Picnic kit
  • Ice chest
  • Foil
  • Utility knife
  • Ziploc bags
  • Canola oil
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ketchup
  • Skewers
  • Disposable drinking cups
  • Disposable plates
  • Utensils
  • Garbage bags
  • Oven mitt/ pot holder
  • Smores kit

Summer camp packing essentials checklist

50 things to pack for your camping trip

Printable Camping essentials checklist

Dollar store Supplies Camping Tips

Dollar store camping supplies

The best camping supplies to buy at the dollar store.

There’s a lot of camping stuff you can find at dollar store and save money. A trip to dollar store is a must before making the move to the wilderness.

  • Flexible cutting boards
  • Tableclothes
  • Rope
  • Duct Tape
  • Zip lock bags
  • Water bottles
  • Snack containers
  • Packing supplies
  • Toys for beach/ pool and lake
  • Dish towels/ washcloths
  • Rain ponchos
  • First aid supplies
  • Flashlights/ lanterns
  • Glow sticks

Dollar store camping supplies


solar light centerpiece for travel

Camp Solar light.

Solar light and a pot makes perfect light centerpiece for campers.

solar light centerpiece


Genius camping hacks and tips.

Lastly I leave you with a nice collection of camping hacks and tips from ordinary traveler. These are not ideas using home essentials but are a good read.

  • Make your own pillow with a pillowcase and clothes.
  • Make your own lantern with a headlamp and water gallon.
  • Prep your meals at home.
  • Use empty tic tac containers for spices.
  • Use Doritos as kindling.
  • Bring Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap.
  • Bring microfiber towels.
  • Compact cooking sets are not just for backpackers.
  • Use block ice in your cooler.
  • Plan ahead and keep a checklist.
  • Use contact lens cases for small amounts of liquids.
  • Easily make espresso with a compact container.
  • Make mini soap bars with a vegetable peeler.
  • Add bundles of sage to your campfire to keep mosquitos away.
  • Use hothands air activated warmers in your sleeping bag.
  • Use silica gel packs when storing your cookware and electronics.
  • Dry your shoes with crumpled newspaper.
  • Use trick birthday candles as a firestarter.
  • Use candle wax as a zipper lubricant.
  • Store eggs in a water bottle.

Genius camping ideas


Please note some links have broken overtime and I have removed them and updated the post with some new handy tips and hacks. I hope you will find these tips, tricks and hacks for camping useful. Start planning smartly and have fun!


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camping tips and hacks for new campers


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Hi, I’m Hani

I’m a mom of 2 decorating and soulfully designing our home. I love to share crafts and simple ideas for home and garden.

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  1. william says:

    Thank you for your hard work collecting those useful tips, It will help me a lot in the next camping trip with my family 🙂

  2. Roger says:

    wow, that’s quite comprehensive camping tips and hacks, good job Hani.

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